Self-Help Enterprises works to get Tulare County ready for emergencies

An inspiring and hopeful report on diverse ways to help the most vulnerable Californians to get ready for disasters is now available to the public through Listos California, the emergency preparedness campaign at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The program was funded through a $50 million emergency allocation championed by Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators.

From 2019 – 2021, Listos California has reached 3.8 million people with low incomes, disabilities and language barriers, as well as older adults and other highly vulnerable Californians. In Tulare County through the leadership of Self-Help Enterprises, 24,593 residents learned five simple steps to get ready for any disaster.

“Emergency preparedness is not government’s responsibility alone. Solutions can’t be top-down – they have to come from the bottom-up,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re empowering non-profit organizations and emergency responders to work together to prepare for emergencies because California is at its best when we look out for each other.”

  • Diverse Formats: Listos California broke new ground by providing highly accessible, lifesaving education in a wide variety of formats: online and text courses; low literacy guides and wallet cards; bilingual phone calls and tele-town halls; video interviews with Asian Pacific mothers and Latino celebrities; audio files; and a mobile classroom trailer for tribal communities. It communicated through door-to-door canvassing, grocery stores, ethnic art, PSAs, spoken word poems, social media, billboards, music videos and a PBS family game show.
  • Diverse Languages: Customized tools and guides were created in 20 languages, including ASL and Oaxacan language variants, to reach diverse populations, including farmworkers, people experiencing homelessness, young Latinos, API families, tribal nations, isolated rural residents, older adults, speakers of oral-only languages, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and more.
  • Diverse Messengers: An unprecedented, research-based grassroots campaign, driven by 300+ community-based organizations familiar with local cultures, delivered disaster readiness education and pivoted in 2020 to add pandemic resources to its emergency preparedness toolbox. Local messengers achieved high rates of engagement by reflecting the races, ethnicities, languages and cultures of the people they reached.

Some of the standout performers statewide include Self-Help Enterprises which disseminated pandemic and disaster education materials through Prepare and Prevent Events (PPE’s), outreach through elementary schools, partnerships with organizations serving seniors and home bound individuals as well as those with little to no internet access.

“With drought promising another punishing fire season, now is the time to double down on efforts to increase equity in disaster resilience,” said Karen Baker, Architect and Chair of Listos California. “I encourage all Tulare County residents to go to and learn the 5 easy steps for disaster readiness, before you smell smoke.”

For a vivid summary of the spirit and ethos behind Listos California’s success, read the report brief, Innovations for Equity in Disaster Resilience (10 pages). For a comprehensive overview of the entire campaign’s achievements and a blueprint for replication, please review the Listos California Impact Report (287 pages). A summary of all Tulare County efforts may be found in the Evidence section.

“I encourage all Tulare County residents to go to and learn the 5 easy steps for disaster readiness, before you smell smoke,” added Baker.

  1. Get alerts to know what to do. (
  2. Make a plan to protect your people.
  3. Pack a Go Bag with things you need.
  4. Build a Stay Box for when you can’t leave.
  5. Help friends and neighbors get ready.

An abundance of resources, in many languages and formats, is available under GET RESOURCES at All materials are public and may be freely shared with communities by media, organizations and individuals.

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